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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 9:10 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Preston - Nr Wingham - Kent
FUJI Finepix S5000 SLR Style Digital Camera - £175 ovno.
6 megapixels interpolated, 3 mega pixels optical resolution. High definition Colour Processor.
Pixel image size at 6 mega pixel setting 2816x2120 recorded effective pixels.
At this resolution recorded and printed at 250dpi (good quality) = 10â€


Last edited by trbeach on Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:32 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:18 pm
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Location: Manchester
Dear Trbeach
The digital camera that you mention sounds very interresting.
I do not know anything about this camera but for anyone thinking of purchasing one and intending to use it for astro-photography I mention a couple of points possibly worth checking out before lashing out on that particular digital camera or any other SLR style-like cameras. One of the features that helps make SLR cameras usefull for astro-photography is that SLRs tend to have removable lenses. the lens can be taken off and using asuitable adaptors the SLR camera can be used at prime focus (or newtonian focus or whatever) to take pics. Another desirable feature of most SLR cameras is that they can be used in manual mode and take long exposure images - usually up to 30 seconds using a variety of settings in steps whilst for longer exposures still SLRs have a "B" settingallowing exposures of several minutes or more. Unfortunately some so called SLR-style cameras do not have those desirable features although i think they look very much like SLRs.
Having said all that I am not suggesting that all SLR-style camers are no good for astro-photography. Amongst other things a camera with a fixed lens can be used afocally by just holding the camera lens close up to the telescope eyepiece (a pretty good way of getting nice pics of the moon). However, I suggest being cautious about buying any so-called SLR-style camera.
Best wishes from the possibly new look Cliff (my wife is thinking of getting me a wig)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:01 pm
Posts: 85
Location: Wishing for darker skies in Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Cliff,

You mention above about having manual control over a camera - I have been looking at this model, the Fuji S7000:

http://www.fujifilm.co.uk/digital/camer ... /range.php

as this camera can be used manually. Then thinking of linking it up to:

http://www.telescopehouse.co.uk/page.as ... action=lnk

The telescope house link states that the digimax can be linked to any type of camera. I am unsure at this time whether the S7000 can have the lens unscrewed at the front, I think maybe it can but I will have to find a local stockist and have a play around with one. They certainly sell different lenses for it which would suggest that it is removable, if not adaptable. Any help gratefully received.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 9:10 pm
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Location: Preston - Nr Wingham - Kent
Liz,
I've had both the S7000 & S5000 and in either case the lenses are not removable. In some respects this is a good thing asit prevents any dirt getting onto the tiney area of the photo recepetors.
You may have read possibly about the photographers nightmares of over zealous cleaning of their image sensor and causing permanent damage to it's micron structure.
Some true SLR digital cameras now feature a protection screen that can be dropped across the sensor when changing lenses.
Anyway, the Fuji lenses are not detachable, but feature a 55mm filter thread , you'll have to check that, its some time since I've played with one !
The S7000 features a lens hood / filter accessory attachment tube, this is about £17, though I have seen it cheaper at www.7dayshop.com who have an excellent price on virtually all film and digital manufacturers from Olympus, Canon, Fuji, Nikon etc.
So you could probably mount the digimax adapter to the 55mm thread on this, although you'll be getting a bit distant from centre of gravity with the heavy weight of the S7000 off centre, might effect your drive ?
Alternatively, though I haven't tried it, you could leave the lens hood off and direct attach a draw tube, with appropriate adaptors to the 55mm thread on the front of the lens housing.
WARNING - Do bear in mind that when you turn the S7000 or S5000 on the lens emerges from the lens housing to up to 2" or more if you don't have the tele option on 'wide', even then I think it still sits out from the housing a bit.
The S7000 is quite a dead weight by comparsion with the S5000 which if powered by AC and batteries removed is actually a very light camera considering it has an optical zoom range from 37mm to 370mm.
Bear in mind also that the S7000 does feature a 15 second maximum shutter time I think and naturally suffers from all the 'noise' on images of commercial non-specialist CCD imaging.
Thats why Starlight Express cameras are so pricy !
However, I have taken many succesful images with my S5000 of the moon and some constellations which were then brushed up in Adobe Elements.
If you're wanting a camera for everyday picture taking but a bit of astronomy, then the S5000 gives you that extra extension optically, but only at 3 megapixels (6 interpolated).
If you want to attach it to a scope I think you'd be better going to a shop and trying the various combinations of rings and tubes before buying.
If you serious about mostly use with the telescope, then I'd concentrate on a dedicated CCD image device, or an appropriate webcam.
www.warehouseexpress.com do the Phillips ToUcam plus an adapter for 1.25" fit scopes for about £95 I think, have a look at their astro'section at the website. Please note I've sold the S5000 I had, but can't seem to delete the add in editing of classifieds section.
The S5500 is out now anyway, with a 4 megapixel effective sensor but retaining the excellent 37 to 370mm lens.
I'll cease now !
Hope you can get the image you're after - good luck !
Regards - Tony


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 10:23 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Rotherham , S.Yorkshire
Hi liz , and first of all welcome to the forum . I think Tony has pretty much covered all bases there , but i do know of a place selling the Toucam pro + adapter for around £70 and free delivery . I f you speak to Bern at Modern Astronomy he is a very helpful guy indeed http://www.modernastronomy.com/
I bought mine from him earlier this year and can vouch for the produced images , although you will need some extra software to convert the AVI files into pictures, Registax is one (free download) this stacks and merges the movie files, you will also need a programme to capture the images such as K3ccd tools or Qfocus ,which I use I don't have links to the sites but I am sure you will turn them up in a google search . Good luck whatever you choose.


Richard :P

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Skywatcher 100 ED, toucam pro, Nikon D200. No longer an observatory :((


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:01 pm
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Location: Wishing for darker skies in Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Thankyou Tony and Richard for your replies and for the welcome to the forum. :) I will put the S7000 off of the list to buy at the moment. I really want to get into Astrophotography but to be honest I have a rough idea of stacking etc, but worried that ultimately I would not get on with it. I will have a look at the links that you have given me to see if I can get a better idea of what would be involved. I have downloaded registax, but obviously at the moment it is a bit of a mystery to me :oops: . When I bought the camera I also obtained a Meade LPI camera which I was mucking around with yesterday taking close up photographs of the kitchen vents on the school to the rear of my house with the lack of anything else to try it out on. I managed some pretty clear pictures though but feel that the Meade LPI is maybe not the best that you can get. The Toucam would seem a better option in the long run.

If there is anyone reading this who is in the Essex area and would come around to help out with the basics I would be willing to pay for your time. I am sure that on your old forum I saw that there was someone in West Horndon who was producing some very nice pictures, only about 30 mins drive from mine...is that person on here??

Thanks again - your a very helpful bunch!

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ImageWe are all in the gutter - but all of us on here are looking at stars! - Oscar Wilde slightly misquoted for the purposes of this forum!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:01 pm
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Location: Wishing for darker skies in Southend-on-Sea, Essex
I have been on the modern astronomy site and after having a look through have decided that I would like one of the ATK-1CII cameras - good value for money and good images with the same size scope as I have, just emailed Bernard as the description about what focal reducer I would need was a bit confusing (to me anyway :oops: )

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ImageWe are all in the gutter - but all of us on here are looking at stars! - Oscar Wilde slightly misquoted for the purposes of this forum!


Last edited by Liz on Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:39 pm 
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Location: Rotherham , S.Yorkshire
Great to hear youv'e found something to satisfy your needs liz, you will find Bern a pleasure to deal with as he is very informative on everything astro and he can usually get anything you don't see on the site. I've had a couple of things from him, including my new scope, and have been very impressed with the service, delivery is usually next day . Oh well good luck with the camera if you go for it .

Richard :P

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Skywatcher 100 ED, toucam pro, Nikon D200. No longer an observatory :((


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:01 pm
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Location: Wishing for darker skies in Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Had a stroke of luck, found the above mentioned camera on ebay a few months old still within guarantee for £150.00, was purchased from modernastronomy in the first place. The seller has just upgraded big time. Just ordered from Bernard a focal reducer and an IR filter. Roll on clear nights! :)

Thanks again for all your help.

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ImageWe are all in the gutter - but all of us on here are looking at stars! - Oscar Wilde slightly misquoted for the purposes of this forum!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:59 am 
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Location: Preston - Nr Wingham - Kent
Liz,
Sounds as though you've got an excellent set-up organised then.
The Nikon is a nicely made camera, and has the quality of the Nikon lens to bode well for broad constellation work, nebulae and if get a Solar Filter, (Full aperture / covering telescope objective completely), like BCF's or 'Thousand Oaks' models (As always, NEVER LOOK at the sun without the filter on - and remember to COVER THE FINDER too ! - Friend of mine 'vapourised' his cross-hairs in his finder while looking at the sun through the telescope !).
I mention the sun as though it requires quality filtration and care with safety as paramount, you've got a subject that is easy to locate and will not prevent you from just getting the 'hang' of a nice bright subject.
Also, and this is something where an investment in the manufacturers own AC power supply is worth it, is that the sun is naturally a daytime object, you don't have to try and find things in thedark, see what's the camera settings are in the gloom, not get frozen in the process and find your target easily.
Just an ideareally, speaking from my own experiences, having used the sun as a baby project, I was far more conversant with the cameras controls and limits (what magnifications really showed any improvement), and was able to realise that even with lithium batteries, having the camera plugged into a AC supply stopped that 'BATTERY LOW!' message appearing at the critical moment !
Hope you have a great time with the terrestrial targets too !
I live in a little single lane village and was able to read number plates on cars at the other end of village ! Wow !
(No wonder our hobby gets 'sectioned' by the public in general !).
Have fun ! - Tony.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:12 am 
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Location: Wishing for darker skies in Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Hi Trbeach,

Do you mean that the ATK-1CII has a Nikon lens?

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ImageWe are all in the gutter - but all of us on here are looking at stars! - Oscar Wilde slightly misquoted for the purposes of this forum!


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 Post subject: My mistake !!!....
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 10:49 am 
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Location: Preston - Nr Wingham - Kent
Sorry Liz, no not the ATK-1CII.
I've muddled it with the Nikon 8700, when you said you'd got one off e-bay.
Not the astro cam.
The Nikon is a lovely piece of kit.
Personally, though I've had a go with webcams and digi cameras, I still prefer the excitement of waiting for my prints to come back from film, Also, I have spent time on the sun as a personal interest, and really film is the best there iswith such a nice bright subject.
Something like Fuji Neopan B&W or even Velvia (though the sun can reveal more detail in high resolution B&W films than colour in my experience), the fact than you can then scan it or make substantial enlargements without loss of quality, digital cannot offer this, and certainly not at the price of a secondhand manual/mechanical SLR or even 6 x 4.5cm neg. medium format (there are some light ones !).
Have a go yourself one day, get an old Pentax, Pracktica or Vivitar etc. preferably with a 'mirror lock-up', this reduces internal vibration from the flip mirror when firing the shutter, and you'll be surprised that £40 or even less of old camera kit can produce stunning images of constellations and nebulae, and certainly of the moon (though you'd probably want at least a 300mm manual zoom telephoto to get an enlarged image of some detail.
Lets face it, apart from dedicated astro'cams and one or two adaptable webcams, as long as you can track the stars accurately, then film can still offer an impressive but considerably cheaper alternative.
No, I'm not an anti-digital man ! Astronomy in particular can, and makes, development and use of digital imaging a clear advantage.
I just wish in the photographic world that the market place and letter columns of photography magazines etc. would let both formats live together, just like when medium format 120 roll film came in while everyone was still using plate cameras. All these options have their uses, but in astronomy I do think digital imaging and the selective 'stacking' option of astro'cams, is still a massive revolution for the budding sky gazer !
Anyway, I've completely wondered off the track here....
I'll stop now !
Have fun ! - Tony.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:01 pm
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Location: Wishing for darker skies in Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Thanks Tony!!

You learn lots on here! My husband just purchased himself a Nikon SLR and we are going to try some pictures with that as well, as you say, it will be exciting waiting for them to come back from being developed. I got a piggy back mount with the scope so will try constellations on that as well.
I think we had the one good night last night for this week so will have to put the gazing on hold for a while.

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ImageWe are all in the gutter - but all of us on here are looking at stars! - Oscar Wilde slightly misquoted for the purposes of this forum!


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